Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Ramble in Charlestown

On Monday, just as the blizzard was starting, I went for a walk around Charlestown. There's a condo there, a crazy one, with three floors, two kitchens, and about six doors opening to the common areas that don't lock. Some trusting soul who really likes to cook and climb stairs must live there. But it also has four marble fireplaces (one might work) in airy, high-ceilinged rooms. It overlooks the Monument, and has a garden.

We'd been to the open house the day before after brunch at the Warren Tavern, a favorite of ours. But we didn't have time to walk around the neighborhood. We figured the condo would attract a bidding war and some cash buyer would snap it up in 48 hours. That's how it goes these days. And since it was at the top of our price range and needed a lot of work, it was out of our league.

But I always like to do my due diligence, so I went for a ramble in the snow.

It's an uphill walk to the Monument from the Orange Line. We've always driven to Charlestown but since I don't drive, I wanted to explore on foot. Since it was snowing and cold, it felt longer, At least Whole Foods is along the way. I went inside to warm up. That would probably become a habit if we moved here. There's only one supermarket in Charlestown, one bakery, and one pharmacy, as far as I know.


The tiny vintage shop we'd visited the day before was closed, but the friendly Maine Coon that belongs to the owner was lounging in the window:


Charlestown has hilly streets and a lot of lovely historic architecture. It feels like a village. If you are used to living in downtown Boston, surrounded by restaurants, shops, and everything you need, it also feels remote. On the other hand, it's pretty, and it's quiet, and that can be wonderful. 


The "Gaslight District" near the Monument is full of character and charm, with brick townhouses reminiscent of Beacon Hill:


The streets closest to the Monument have the nicest Victorian architecture — and not only on the outside. Peeking in the windows reveals that many people who live here have preserved their elegant historic interiors and furnished them accordingly. Standing on the sidewalk outside them, l feel like the Little Match Girl, shivering in the snow, looking in at warmth, light, and elegance. Then I remember that I have rooms like that, too, and stop being maudlin.


Charlestown hasn't always been the most welcoming place, of course, depending on who you are. But check out the plaque on this Catholic Church:


That's pretty great.


When I got to the condo, the agent was ushering out a group after a "second showing." They stood on the sidewalk talking enthusiastically. I left. Today I was surprised there will be another open house this weekend. Yes, that condo is crazy... although I do like the neighborhood.

1 comment:

  1. i like crazy. we bought a new house because most of the crazy houses around here are so old that they need so much work that we are just not up to, but I do appreciate anyone who does/is

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